IHC admits petition against channel for blasphemy -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

IHC admits petition against channel for blasphemy

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi on Tuesday admitted a petition for regular hearing which alleged blasphemy of Ahle Bait (RA) was committed by ARY television channel in its morning show on May 16.

Justice Kasi at initial hearing of the case issued notice to the station house officer (SHO) Margallah police station who had not registered the FIR against the TV channel despite an application by the petitioner who happened to be incumbent President Islamabad Bar Association (IBA) Naseer Ahmed Kyani.

The petitioner Kyani alongside another lawyer Rao Abdur Raheem also assailed an order of the additional session judge (ASJ) who accepted the application for registering FIR against Geo television but rejected the application for registration of FIR against ARY television declaring it non-cognizable and non-maintainable.

The petitioner contended before the court that the same ASJ in the matter of an applicant Arshad Mehmood Butt had ordered for registration of FIR on May 17 against the Geo television for allegedly airing blasphemous content.

The petitioner told the court that ARY television network in its morning show “Good Morning Pakistan with Nida Yasir” celebrated a false, fake and concocted marriage with so many nonsense/obscene things which were not only against our moral, social, legal and religious teachings and practices but the fun was also made of it. In the said programme a controversial song/poem was played. During the said programme, anchorperson, participants and singer deliberately defamed, defiled and degraded Holy Quran, Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Hazrat Fatima Zohra (RA) and Hazrat Ali-ul-Murtaza (RA) through movement and gestures.

The said TV channel and all the persons involved in its preparations have hurt feelings of the Muslims. This blasphemous act is cognizable offence under sections 298, 298-A, 295-A and 295-C of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).

Given the fact that the cognizable offence was made, SHO Margallah police station despite application, did not register the FIR. The petitioner then moved an application under section 22-A with the court of an ASJ who dismissed the application with observations “from viewing of said programme, there is no indecency or any gesture, which may be treated as scandalous, malicious or outraging the religious feelings and simply airing any “Manqbat” through a programme, is not a crime cognizable, so the petition is not maintainable”. The matter of the petitioner was similar and identical to the case of Arshad Mehmood Butt in whose matter the ASJ had ordered the otherwise and the FIR was registered, the petitioner contended.

The petitioner contended before the court that the order of ASJ is illegal, unlawful and result of misreading and non-reading of the contents of the petitioner’s application. That ASJ has ignored that under section 154 if the contents of the application/information disclose the commission of cognizable offence, the police are duty bound to register the FIR.

The petitioner further contended that the ASJ did not consider that the criminal matters couldn’t be investigated or inquired before registration of FIR.The petitioner prayed to the court to order registration of FIR against the ARY TV channel and against all those who participated in the preparation of the said programme. The court after issuing the above said orders put off in this matter with date in office.

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